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20 of the most powerful quotes on heartbreak in literature

While we should prefer the glossy, Disney-­proof happy endings, complete with a dashing Prince Charming, it’s often the opposite that keeps us turning the page. Give us star‐crossed lovers, a long, drawn-­out illness, or just the fact that the two protagonists don’t ever meet at the right time, and we’re captivated.

From Heathcliff and Cathy's tumultuous affair in Wuthering Heights to Stevens in The Remains of the Day, whose love for Miss Kenton frustratingly never amounts to anything other than a few tense moments, here are some of the greatest and most powerful quotes on heartbreak ever to be committed to paper. You might want to get the tissues at the ready.

(Words: Elinor Block)

(Main image: Rex Features)

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